Keeping your plants warm is crucial, but heating a polytunnel can be expensive. In this article, we’ll cover how to control the climate inside your polytunnel and ventilate it. We’ll also talk about how to properly insulate a polytunnel.
Heating a polytunnel can be expensive
While polytunnels are a great way to extend the growing season, they can also be quite expensive to run. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to save money on heating a polytunnel, including using garden fleece. This insulating material can be placed over the soil or a polythene cover to keep the soil warm during the day. During a gold spell, you can remove the fleece and replace it with another layer. You can also use gas heaters, which are more expensive but thermostatically controlled. Gas heaters are a good choice for a smaller space, but they can be costly for large areas.
Polytunnels can be heated to maintain a specific temperature, but they must be maintained properly in order to prevent condensation and keep the soil temperature stable. Depending on the manufacturer, you may have to replace the plastic covering of your polytunnel every few years, which can add to the cost of your polytunnel. However, the frame of a polytunnel is usually quite durable and will last decades.
Insulating a polytunnel helps keep plants warm
To keep your plants healthy, you need to keep the temperature inside the polytunnel above freezing. In order to do this, you can add insulation to the polytunnel. It helps to protect plants from cold draughts and also helps to retain the warmth of the planted area. For added warmth and protection, you can also cover the tunnel with bubble wrap. You can even use horticultural bubble wrap, which is UV-stabilised and extra hardwearing. Bubble wrap also prevents your plants’ ceramic pots from cracking.
Another method of insulating a polytunnel is to use frost fabric. This is a great way to retain heat while also allowing irrigation to flow freely. Frost fabric is particularly good for plants that prefer a moist environment. Alternatively, you can invest in a heating system. These are usually quite expensive and you need to consider how much your budget is for installing them. If you aren’t able to invest in a full-scale heating system, you can use propane or space heaters.
Controlling the climate inside a polytunnel
If you’re cultivating crops in a polytunnel, controlling the climate inside can be essential to achieving a successful crop. You need to keep a stable temperature in order to prevent the soil from drying out. You should also water the crops regularly. A watering system that is set up in the morning is especially beneficial, as it helps maintain the humidity in the polytunnel.
The ideal temperature for most plants in a polytunnel is between 26 and 30 degrees Celsius. However, temperatures can rise above this during sunny days, which can inhibit germination, lead to diseases and hamper photosynthesis. Overheating can even kill plants.
Ventilation in a polytunnel
Proper ventilation is a key aspect of a polytunnel. It not only keeps the plants cool in hot weather, but it can also help control humidity levels, preventing common plant diseases. Choosing the right kind of ventilation for your polytunnel will depend on the type of plants you grow.
The length and height of your polytunnel also affect ventilation. A longer tunnel is more likely to have hot spots and stagnant air, while a shorter one is more likely to have good circulation. Ventilating polytunnels with PVC panels is a useful option.
Another way to increase ventilation is by using roll-up sides. These sides are generally made of plastic, and can be manually or electrically operated. They roll around a pipe to provide ventilation to the desired degree. Some roll-up mechanisms are manual, while others use gear hand cranks. Other roll-up mechanisms are motorized and feature controls to automate the process.
Cost of building a polytunnel
Building a polytunnel is an excellent way to grow crops in cooler climates. They also allow you to plant all year round and reduce the risk of interruption due to unpredictable weather. You can protect your plants from rain, hail, and frost with a polytunnel.
However, polytunnels can be expensive to build. If you want to get the most out of your polytunnel, you’ll need to consider the material used and its durability. A high quality polytunnel will have a UV stabiliser. Also, if you want to keep your polytunnel warm, you should look for polythene that resists condensation. Some suppliers offer a five-year guarantee.
A polytunnel is usually smaller than a greenhouse and can be set up in a single day. However, greenhouses are more expensive and require more labour. In general, a polytunnel costs around $3,500 to build. Smaller ones can cost less than $1,000.